The Importance of Knowing Your Limits
Knowing your limits is not a subject often discussed in publications dedicated to entrepreneurship and self-improvement, but it is nevertheless important. You’ve often heard, I’m sure, that with the right attitude and enough hard work you can accomplish anything. Whether this is true or not only your own personal experience can tell you. In any case, success in business is not determined solely by talent and energy. You must also be able to see clearly what is at a given time immediately possible, and to make moves accordingly.
Dreaming of the day you’ll pull in millions or thinking up some wild scheme to completely change your life is no substitute for the practical work of taking advantage of opportunities that are right in front of you. Impatience is one of the biggest killers of ambition. If you are really interested in rising to the top in your profession, you need to have a firm grasp on what you can do and what you can’t, given the limits of your income, position, and power.
You can recognize such limits without feeling discouraged. They are, after all, temporary. The point is to be realistic about the resources that you have at your disposal and the network of friends and colleagues who you can rely on. Having this knowledge provides a solid foundation for moving steadily towards your ultimate goals.
I know a number of individuals who dream big, but can make nothing of it because of their constant frustration at seeing things happen for people they deem as undeserving. Harboring such knee-jerk jealousy and resentment is both absurd and counterproductive.
You will never make anything positive happen for yourself if you worry over what happens for other people. The point, in any event, is to focus on your circumstances, your opportunities, your possibilities and limitations.
Most successful businessmen are so because they paid attention to the little things. They had vision but also guile. They had a strategy but spent most of their time refining day-to-day tactics. Situational awareness is the key to unlocking the door to success. Dream big, but know your limits; and act as you can to steadily expand them.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.